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Insights Daily Current Events, 01 June 2016

Insights Daily Current Events, 01 June 2016

Paper 2 Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Skill India Mission

According to government estimates, more than 1.04 Crore youth have been trained under the Skill India Mission in the year 2015-16 which is 36.8% higher than the previous year’s recorded data.

Key facts:

  • In the current arrangement, 60% of the trainings are directly under Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship while 40% are across other Central Ministries.
  • Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), which was launched on July 15, 2015, alone has witnessed more than 20 lakh people, of which 40% are women candidates, being trained in their choice of skills.

About the National Skill Development Mission:

  • The National Skill Development Mission aims to provide a strong institutional framework at the Centre and States for implementation of skilling activities in the country.
  • The Mission will have a three-tiered, high powered decision making structure. At its apex, the Mission’s Governing Council, chaired by the Prime Minister, will provide overall guidance and policy direction.
  • The Steering Committee, chaired by Minister in Charge of Skill Development, will review the Mission’s activities in line with the direction set by the Governing Council. The Mission Directorate, with Secretary, Skill Development as Mission Director, will ensure implementation, coordination and convergence of skilling activities across Central Ministries/Departments and State Governments.
  • The Mission will also run select sub-missions in high priority areas.
  • The National Skill Development Agency (NSDA), the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and the Directorate of Training will function under the overall guidance of the Mission.
  • The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) provides a natural home for the Mission, organically linking all three decisions making levels and facilitating linkages to all Central Ministries/Departments and State Governments.

Sources: pib.


Paper 2 Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.


India signs agreement with IBRD


The Government of India and the World Bank have signed a US$ 9.2 million grant agreement under the World Bank-Global Environment Facility (GEF) Program for the Efficient and Sustainable City Bus Service Project to improve the efficiency and attractiveness of bus services in select Indian cities.

Key facts:

  • The project will demonstrate low cost high impact initiatives in efficient bus operations by focusing on modernizing city bus services through modern depots for improving the maintenance of buses; introducing modern Intelligent Transport Systems and Management Information Systems for better planning and management of operations; and by providing technical support to vehicles and drivers for better fuel efficiency, among others.
  • Demonstration cities where the various initiatives for improving city bus services will be undertaken are Mira Bhayandar in Maharashtra, Chandigarh, Jaipur, and Bhopal.
  • This project will complement the Government of India’s Bus Funding Scheme launched to promote public transport by supporting cities to modernize their bus services.
  • The initiatives for modernizing city bus transport services under this project will also help select cities reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) while offering practical transport solutions.
  • The project is designed to specifically focus on identifying regulatory, institutional and fiscal constraints to operation of sustainable city bus services and address the weak capacity in the urban bus sector and facilitate the development of a vibrant urban bus sector community through the development of a comprehensive capacity building program.


The World Bank Group-Global Environment Facility (GEF) directly support actions to combat major environmental issues such as climate change, loss of biodiversity, polluted international waters, land degradation and desertification, and persistent organic pollutants, as well as stimulate green growth. The program supports an active portfolio of over 200 investments globally.

Sources: pib.


Paper 2 Topic: Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.


Shri Bhim Sain Bassi takes over as Member UPSC


Shri Bhim Sain Bassi recently took the Oath of Office and Secrecy as Member, Union Public Service Commission. The Oath was administered by Shri Deepak Gupta, Chairman, UPSC.

Key facts:

  • Members of UPSC are appointed by the President.
  • Under the Constitution, a member of the UPSC can have a maximum tenure of six years or till he attains the age of 65 years.
  • The members of the commission are mainly experts drawn from various streams which include the IAS, IPS and other all India services.
  • A member can submit his resignation at any time to the President of India.
  • He may be removed from his office by the President of India on the ground of misbehaviour (only if an inquiry of such misbehaviour is made and upheld by Supreme Court) or if he is adjudged insolvent.
  • A member may also be removed if he engages during his term of office in any paid employment outside the duties of his office, or in the opinion of the President unfit to continue in office by reason of infirmity of mind or body.

Sources: pib.


Paper 2 Topic: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.


‘Don’t make binding concessions for APEC’


Union commerce ministry has conveyed to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) its concern over demands that India offer the concessions in lieu of consideration for APEC membership. It has cautioned the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) against ceding to demands that India offer binding concessions to secure an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) membership.

What is being demanded?

  • An agreement to reduce industrial tariffs to very low levels or eliminate them over a specified time period.
  • An early deal on a Bilateral Investment Treaty with the U.S.
  • Participation in negotiations for a proposed Investment Facilitation Agreement at the World Trade Organisation-level.


India has applied for APEC membership in 1991 on the basis of its geographic location, potential size of the economy and degree of trade interaction with the Asia-Pacific. However, at the fifth APEC Leaders’ meeting in Vancouver in 1997, a decision was taken to place a ten-year moratorium on expanding membership, which continues informally till date.

Way ahead:

India is engaging with APEC member countries to develop a consensus on lifting the informal moratorium on accepting new members and to actively push for India’s candidature for membership of APEC.

Benefits for India:

  • Membership in APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) would provide India a constructive forum to glean insight from other Asian countries that have already taken significant steps to advance their economies.
  • India is also striving for major economic reforms to open India’s markets, improve trade volume, and facilitate its growing population’s need for continued job growth. Hence, APEC can be the right platform.


The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is a regional economic forum established in 1989 to leverage the growing interdependence of the Asia-Pacific. It aims to create greater prosperity for the people of the region by promoting balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure growth and by accelerating regional economic integration.


  • APEC works to help all residents of the Asia-Pacific participate in the growing economy.
  • APEC projects provide digital skills training for rural communities and help indigenous women export their products abroad.
  • Recognizing the impacts of climate change, APEC members also implement initiatives to increase energy efficiency and promote sustainable management of forest and marine resources.
  • The forum adapts to allow members to deal with important new challenges to the region’s economic well-being. This includes ensuring disaster resilience, planning for pandemics, and addressing terrorism.


  • APEC’s 21 member economies are Australia; Brunei Darussalam; Canada; Chile; People’s Republic of China; Hong Kong, China; Indonesia; Japan; Republic of Korea; Malaysia; Mexico; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Peru; The Philippines; The Russian Federation; Singapore; Chinese Taipei; Thailand; United States of America; Viet Nam.
  • APEC Members account for approximately 40% of the world’s population, approximately 54% of the world’s gross domestic product and about 44% of world trade.

In APEC, all economies have an equal say and decision-making is reached by consensus. There are no binding commitments or treaty obligations. Commitments are undertaken on a voluntary basis and capacity building projects help members implement APEC initiatives. The APEC process is supported by a permanent secretariat based in Singapore.

Sources: the hindu.


Facts for Prelims:


  • A three day ‘100 Smart Cities India’ Conference was recently inaugurated by the Minister of Urban Development Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu in Berlin, Germany. Leading global companies, policy makers and experts are attending the conference being organized to highlight investment opportunities in smart city development set in motion in India.


  • The Prime Minister has approved the proposal of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for enhancing the age of superannuation of all doctors of the Central Health Service to 65 years with effect from 31st May 2016. This will enable the Government to retain experienced doctors for a longer period, and to provide better services in its public health facilities, particularly to the poorest, who are entirely dependent on public facilities.


  • The Centre has achieved the fiscal deficit target of 3.9% of GDP in FY16. The Centre’s fiscal deficit stood at Rs 5.32 lakh crore or 3.9% of GDP in FY16, marginally lower than the revised estimate (RE) of Rs 5.35 lakh crore. This was the second year in a row that the government met the fiscal deficit target but it did not have to significantly cut spending to meet the projections. Fiscal deficit is the difference between the government’s total spending and receipts, which includes tax, non-tax revenue as well as capital receipts such as proceeds from disinvestment.